06/24/2014 03:31 pm ET Updated Jun 24, 2014

This Is What Life Is Like For Polar Bears In An Era Of Climate Change

These polar bears look ready for a swim -- but there is more to the story.

This beautiful short from Arctic Bear Productions on the GoPro YouTube channel depicts a family of polar bears on their quest to find a place to rest: sea ice.

While this footage is stunning, its message is quite somber. Eventually, the bears reach land, but do not find ice. There's a reason for this. Polar bears need sea ice to hunt seals -- but, because of climate change, this ice is melting.

This may have drastic consequences for the future of the species, who are currently listed as vulnerable on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species.

"Due to their long generation time and the current greater speed of global warming, it seems unlikely that polar bear will be able to adapt to the current warming trend in the Arctic," the IUCN explains.

If climatic trends continue, polar bears face a significant population decline this century.



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